Letter to CMS staff sheds light on district’s plan for return to in-person learning

Letter to CMS staff sheds light on district’s plan for return to in-person learning

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools confirmed someone connected to Ranson Middle School in north Charlotte tested positive for coronavirus.

CMS wouldn’t say whether it was a teacher or other staff member, but there aren’t any students there because the district is under virtual learning.

But, everyone is hoping to get children back into the classroom soon and safely.

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A big reason CMS went with Plan C or all remote learning in the first was due to the number of vacancies.

CMS is seeking:

  • 41 teachers -- that’s down from 70 just a month ago
  • 26 custodians -- the district cut that number in half
  • They are only short 14 bus drivers instead of 80 back in July

There are currently 27 staff members out on a COVID-19 related leave of absence, and four of them are teachers.

At the Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, Channel 9 learned the district approved a total of 630 staff members to work remotely regardless of whether the students come back to the classroom.

500 of these staff members are teachers -- CMS has 19,000 employees.

Tuesday, Channel 9 reported about a letter Superintendent Earnest Winston sent to CMS staff to shed light on the future and how the district wants students to eventually return to the classroom.

The district doesn’t have a date for students to return, but the letter did give insight on how things would work.

In it, Winston said the district is not planning for all students to return at once, but they’ll take a “phased” approach and start with letting the youngest students and those with special needs to return first.

The letter comes as students are getting used to learning behind a screen.

“It can be a bit difficult at times,” student Musa said. “I’m still adjusting to the schedule.”

Channel 9 asked families for their thoughts about an eventual return to the classroom.

“You can’t really control the kids, like my little one, he doesn’t like to wear his mask, they still want to touch, grab stuff and hug people, so it’s an iffy situation,” parent Keyana said.

There’s no official date for when that phased process will start.

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